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Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

Last post Wed, Jun 4 2014 12:29 PM by Maggie Trudeau. 89 replies.
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  • Wed, May 25 2011 12:20 PM

    Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    All,

    I love this forum and have learned a great deal.  I'm hoping to get some novel advice for a young person.  He's turning 18 today and due to family problems, he's been homeless for several weeks.  For his birthday, a group of us chipped in and got him a camper and 3 months lot rent.  We've gathered the basics (very basic) for him to live (sheets, towels, dishes, etc).   I'm hoping this 3month head start and home ownership (we're giving him the camper), will keep him from being homeless again and let him finish school.  It also gives him time to clean his credit if one of his less functional family members has been using it...which they have.  It also gives him 3 months to get a job and start saving so he has rent and propane money for the winter.

    He really wants to take this opportunity and do well.   Does anyone on here have advice for him getting a job, budgetting, and getting started while still having SOME fun in life?

     I've told him all I know and he's had me help him write out a budget...but sticking to it...there's the rub.  I'm hoping he'll join this forum too.  It's so encouraging.

     Maggie

  • Wed, May 25 2011 12:25 PM In reply to

    • babs
    • Top 10 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 2 2007
    • Vermont
    • Posts 10,988

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    What tough place for him to be in. It is an opportunity for him to suceed with your and others help. I would meet with him on a regualr basis, maybe have him over for dinner one night each week.  If he has a pastor, maybe encourage some counseling.  Job...that is a hard one. Does your employment office help kids learn to fill out applications, write a resume?  One of the easy to get jobs here for kids his age is dish or pot washing at nursing homes, hospitals. Here the starting wage is $8 an hour.  Maybe take him to food pantrys too, Babs

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
  • Wed, May 25 2011 1:18 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

     

    Maggie Trudeau:
    For his birthday, a group of us chipped in and got him a camper and 3 months lot rent.  We've gathered the basics (very basic) for him to live (sheets, towels, dishes, etc).

    I think this was a fantastic head start you have given this young man. Housing can be very expensive and it sounds like you all have helped him to find a more affordable option to see him through his early years of life as an adult.

    A budget is a necessary thing for anyone to make it financially. Once he is working, he needs to set up an emergency fund.

    Entertainment and fun activites can be found cheaply if he has a computer with internet and/or lives in an area that has free or low cost activities. Some TV programs and movies are free to view online, games can be played, some areas offer concerts and local events free of charge.

    Is the camper in a campground?

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Thu, May 26 2011 3:46 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    Thanks!  The pot washing at hospital/nursing home is a great idea. 

    Regular meetings are also a good idea.  He's already had me help him with a budget, but now that we have housing, we'll need to refine that.  Someone showed him where the food bank is.


    The camper is in a campground and the host is being very helpful and kind.  The "no partying rule" should help him stay on track.

    There is wifi there, but he doesn't have a computer right now.  I've been explaining to him that that is one good reason to get a job...to buy a laptop.  There is a TV with a VCR in the camper so he can get cheap video tapes at thrift stores and I gave him a couple of classic comedies. 

    A friend is going over this weekend to start teaching the kid trailer maintenance...the water system already has a leak.  Oh well.  He's inside and safe and there are showers at the campground.

  • Thu, May 26 2011 4:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

     Does he know the basics of cooking? Nothing fancy, just how to read and prepare a simple recipe? This can really help save him on food, and it'll also give him the opportunity to have a friend or two over for lunch or dinner and maybe some board games once in a while.If not, going to the library and printing out some basic recipes for inexpensive things like chili and soups, casseroles, etc. so he can get started will keep him busy, help the food budget, and give him another set of really valuable skills.

    A great place to start once he gets a job is to hit the yard sales to find some old board games, and a few decks of cards. Hours of really cheap fun can be had with some chips, salsa, and (non gambling) games!

    "This isn't life in the fast lane, it's life in oncomming traffic." -Terry Pratchett

    Blog: www.shwankie.net
    Twitter: EclecticEdibles
  • Thu, May 26 2011 5:53 PM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

     

    Falcon: good points.  I put a deck of cards in his boxes of stuff...and I think he can cook eggs.  Maybe we'll work on a recipe a week or something.  I'll throw in my "I Hate to Cook" book...I learned from that when I went to college.  And I'll look for a game or two at yard sales.
  • Thu, May 26 2011 8:47 PM In reply to

    • Abbie
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Nov 26 2008
    • Posts 140

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    Maggie Trudeau - you and your friends are doing such a wonderful thing.  It warms my heart.  It's people like you who make our world a great place.

     

  • Thu, May 26 2011 10:01 PM In reply to

    • babs
    • Top 10 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 2 2007
    • Vermont
    • Posts 10,988

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

    Another thought, does he know how to do his own laundry? That may need a few lessons too. Babs

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
  • Fri, May 27 2011 8:10 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

     

    babs:
    Another thought, does he know how to do his own laundry?

    On that note, housecleaning with natural cleaners may be a good lesson. A camper is a small space so a box of baking soda and a bottle of vinegar will go a long way.

       

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Mon, May 30 2011 1:27 AM In reply to

    Re: Quick advice for a suddenly independent 18 year old

     

    He DOES know how to do laundry....though he picked up a new black sweatshirt today and some white socks and undies...I suspect those will be gray socks and undies soon since he doesn't have enough money to do separate loads at the laundromat. I'm hoping to get him one of those little twirlly manual washers I've seen on TV.  it should be fine for socks and undies so he could do those without going to the laundromat.  He did ask for help finding a drying rack.  It costs 2.25$ per load to wash and another 2.25$ per wash to dry!  That's a lot.  He can save almost 10$/month with a drying rack (1 load per week).  On his budget, that is a big help.

     The real lesson for the today was container gardening.  He likes cilantro on almost everything and he likes mint tea so we went to the store and got him 2 plants of each, a couple of cheap pots and some potting soil.  It's not cheaper than buying spices in bulk, but learning to take care of plants is a life skill worth having and cheers up the home.  I might bring him one of my potatoe buckets if he decides to stay put for the next few months. It's really fun to empty a bucket of dirt with a dead looking plant on it and get a couple pounds of potatoes.

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